The Pulse

May 1, 2006
Outside Magazine
Fitness Q&A
chris carmichael

Chris Carmichael

Express Train with Chris Carmichael
Dressing for summer and winter workouts is easy, but during the fickle days of spring, it can be tough. Wear too little and you'll freeze in the shade or a stiff breeze. Too much and you'll overheat in the sun. Layers, and knowing what to do with them, can help. (1) Start Cool: If you already feel warm when you first walk outdoors, you're overdressed. Shed a layer, but be sure you keep on a moisture-wicking base. (2) Act Early: Open vents and remove layers before you're soaked; otherwise you'll be freezing if the wind picks up or the sun starts to go down. If the temperature drops, put on dry layers. Carry a featherweight wind- and waterproof shell for those unpredictable spring showers. (3) Strip: After a workout, don't hang out in sweaty gear, not even for the drive home from the gym or trail. Wet clothes are an invitation to skin problems, regardless of the temperature. But in cool spring air, your core temperature usually drops rapidly, so changing into dry clothes—at least dry socks and a beanie hat—is a good defense against falling ill. Wet clothes won't necessarily make you sick, but if you're already at the tipping point, they may allow an infection to take hold.

Chris Carmichael coached Lance Armstrong to seven straight Tour de France wins.

That's Bogus
The largest-ever study of low-fat diets concluded that they have little effect on risks for heart disease and cancer. However, the results of this eight-year study—which looked only at women over age 50—lack context. The research would seem to suggest that people can chuck their eight fruits and vegetables a day for ice cream. Not so fast.

"Regular exercisers have to refuel themselves with protein and lots of carbohydrates, not fats," says Monique Ryan, author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes. "If they're doing this, they're automatically on a low-fat diet." So unless you're a sedentary, middle-aged woman, this much-hyped study is about as relevant to you as one about canine distemper. Do yourself a favor: Stick to foods that work for you, not against you.

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